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Tourists are being drawn back to Phuket  n larger numbers

Phuket's Fab Feb Pushes Air Numbers Sky High

Tuesday, March 9, 2010
PHUKET'S tourism turnaround continued last month with international passenger arrivals and departures at Phuket airport increasing by 70.88 percent.

Hearteningly high as that figure seems, the bounceback is from the exceptionally low base that was created by the Bangkok airport invasion of late 2008.

Still, even if the tumbler is plastic it definitely appears half full.

Those hordes may be paying discount room rate prices and spending so little that most of the island's tuk-tuks appear to be stationary. But at least they are hopping on planes to Phuket.

The figures for February are, like those of January, even better than the record February of 2008. Back then, 652,648 people moved back and forth through Phuket airport.

Last month's tally reached a remarkable 746,204. This was just a tad below January's 749,518, so the overworked Immigration officials are earning their wages.

But remember: these tallies are for arrivals AND departures. The airport, sensibly enough, counts both comings AND goings. To get an accurate tally of how many visitors Phuket has had for the month, cut that figure in half.

Some people wrongly believe Phuket is targetting six million tourists this year. No, the airport is targetting six million arrivals and departures, which would mean the island topped three million visitors for the first time.

Six million visitors? That will only become possible when the planned airport extension stretches capacity to 12.5 million arrivals AND departures.

For those who want more figures on Phuket's Fab Feb, total flights increased by 41.50 percent to 4218. International passenger arrivals and departures totalled 374,321, with domestic up 30.86 percent to 371,883.

The Phuket tourism recovery is definitely here. It will be even better, though, once people remember to bring their wallets.

The stats from October 2009 to February 2010 also create a rosy picture of this high season, with arrivals and departures totalling 3,183,135, up 31.83 percent on the previous high season.

Cargo for February year on year was also up by 50.40 percent.
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Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

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Phuketwan should monitor the news (Bangkok Post & The Nation) as ISA (Internal Security Act) has been declared for Bangkok and surrounding provinces.

PAD just gives information to get ready in case....

With violence, which may erupt in Bangkok, we may say that the high season is over and we may have 6-8 months without any tourists.

Editor: We reported yesterday that the ISA was likely to be introduced.You must have forgotten that an ISA was declared for Asean on Phuket last year, but the sky didn't fall in. Most tourists on direct flights to Phuket have little to be concerned about. Embassies are simply urging caution at this stage. To talk of tourism suddenly ending is the kind of scary stuff that unprincipled expat chat sites encourage so their readers keep coming back. If there's a problem, we'll let you know.

Posted by Whistle-Blower on March 9, 2010 16:09

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This is true more tourists arriving but definitetly less being spent in the tourist attractions in Phuket.

Maybe they are going elsewhere, Krabi, Khao Lak etc.

Posted by barka on March 10, 2010 06:09

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I do not believe these figures as all hotels and business are doing poorly. this month is low season already.

Editor: Are all hotels doing poorly, even with improved occupancy rates?

Posted by Richard on March 10, 2010 18:19

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Phuket hotels doing "poorly" is a relative term. It means the owners will have to sell their convertible S-Class Mercedes-Benzes and replace them with (gasp!) a mere Toyota Camry due to the cheaper insurance and the fuel savings. God knows I've seen enough S-Class Mercedes around Patong recently driven by Thais...

Posted by TBA on March 12, 2010 13:49


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